Everyone loves a dinner party, which is why I'm always surprised when I hear people express something of a distaste about lead nurturing.

When you think about it, the two are very similar. They both require the host (the marketer) to not only build but also maintain relationships with their guests (leads) through conversation, solid rapport, and sense of trust. And as with a successful dinner party, a successful lead nurturing strategy involves very careful planning...

1. First, make sure your home looks its best

Would you leave dirty washing on the floor when you had a group of friends coming to dinner? I thought not. The same goes for your website.

Just as when faced with a bad smell or cluttered room, potential leads will flinch at the sight of broken links and cluttered pages. The majority will even go one step further and flee without a second thought, leaving you to puzzle over why your Web traffic isn't converting.

Many marketers forget that a website now serves a much bigger purpose than simply cataloguing products and providing a contact number. It needs to actually nurture leads into navigating through more pages and provide information that will be of real value to prospects. That's what starts to build up that all-important rapport and gets leads excited about, so to speak, what's for dinner!

2. Use the finest ingredients

Quality Web design and quality content will have leads salivating. The very best content's the stuff that doesn't merely benefit a prospect in some way but does so in an original, sometimes even controversial manner.

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image of Charlotte Varela

Charlotte Varela is a self-confessed social media junkie pursuing a career as a digital content marketer at Tone, a UK based Web design and lead generation agency.

Twitter: @charlotte_tone
LinkedIn: Charlotte Varela